Below is a list of documents that must be submitted with your application.  We have included samples of some of these documents, as well as helpful resources, below to help you get started.  If you have documents that you would be willing to share, please feel free to email those to .

This is a checklist of all the documents requested as part of the accreditation application. Those documents listed in BOLD font are for accreditation only and are NOT required for verification.

Governing Authority

  • Proof of non-profit status
  • Proof of ownership or copy of leasing agreement
  • Contingency plan, if property is not owned by sanctuary or its governing organization
  • Succession plan 
  • List of Board of Directors/Trustees members with occupation and number of years on Board
  • By-Laws and amendments
  • Sample of Board meeting dates for a typical year
  • One set of Board minutes
  • Copy of grievance procedure
  • Copy of conflict of interest policy
  • Copy of code of conduct/ethics
  • Copy of current licenses and permits
  • Copy of strategic plan


  • Most recent tax document filed to maintain non-profit status (for example, the IRS Form 990 in the United States) (if available online, note where)
  • Most recent annual operating budget
  • Long term financial projections
  • Most recent Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Activities, and Statement of Cash Flows
  • Description of financial stability and reserves or challenges
  • Proof of checking account (such as a voided check)
  • Repayment schedules for any personal loans to the sanctuary

Safety and Security (for accreditation only)

  • Copy of complete firearm policies, unless not applicable
  • Copy of first aid plan
  • Copy of disaster preparedness/emergency plan
  • Copy of escaped animal protocol

Policies (for accreditation only)

  • Copy of acquisition policy
  • Copy of disposition policy

Additional Information to Assist Your Organization in Meeting the GFAS Standards